Blago's Retrial a Long Way Off - NBC Chicago
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Blago's Retrial a Long Way Off



    Blago's Retrial a Long Way Off
    Blagojevich Defense Rests |
    In a surprise move Wednesday, the defense in the Blagojevich case rested, without calling the ex-governor as a witness, like they had promised. Blago reasoned that "the government proved [my] innocence".

    Getting sick of seeing Blagojevich's convicted mug on your television set, newspaper front page and web site?

    It may stay there a while.

    The felonious fibber's retrial isn't likely to start before January 2011, according to Judge James Zagel.

    Zagel told lawyers last week that he didn't want to put a "Christmas burden" on potential jurors, meaning he prefers to let the holidays pass before asking a new set of jurors to decide the fate of the former Illinois governor.

    Couple that news with the fact that most experts believe the judge and the prosecution will wait until after the second trial to sentence him for his lone count of lying to the FBI. The logic here is two-fold. The prosecution will want to know what other convictions -- if any -- he's facing after the retrial so they can decide how stiff of a penalty they should seek for the lying charge. If he ends up being convicted on all 23 counts, they'll likely only go after a minimum sentence for lying, if he's acquitted, they'll push for the maximum.

    Experts also say there's jury psychology to weigh. If the former governor has already been sentenced to, say, five years -- the maximum sentence for lying to the FBI -- a new jury may be less inclined to convict him because he's already been punished.

    So the prosecution will likely wait. And that means Rod could be wandering around TV sets, Comic Conventions and block parties for a long time to come.